Blogs

Audiences in Arts, Culture and Heritage: Solutions to our Problems

From James McQuaid at The Guardian:

At this year’s Arts Marketing Association conference, the National Arts Strategies president, Russell Willis Taylor, made some thought-provoking points through a case study on Ikea from which she believed arts and culture can learn. One of these was about knowing your value proposition: what are you uniquely placed to offer and how can this exude through an organisation? Willis Taylor encouraged us to be opportunistic, to build in space, energy and money in order to learn, keep our eyes open and be flexible and responsive. Her example to illustrate this in Ikea was the employee who started screwing off table legs to get the furniture into customers’ cars, which led to a revolution in the brand’s production and the flatpack we all know and (mostly) love today.
Reflection: How the Arts Breach the 'School to Prison Pipeline'

From Shelly Gilbride, writing for California Arts Council Blog:

This isn’t a class in your average school. This is a class at the Juvenile Justice Center in Alameda and these boys are incarcerated. They live in tiny, sparse cells. The walled courtyard isn’t big enough for a real game of catch. These are tough kids who have had tough lives and are currently dealing with really tough circumstances. But when they are dancing, they are just kids, trying to get the moves right. I was privileged to witness that class as part of the Alameda County Office of Education’s bold initiative to address the “School to Prison Pipeline.”
Strategies to Increase Equity in Grantmaking & Empowerment

Last week at the GIA conference in Houston, Aaron Dworkin (The Sphinx Organization), Maurine Knighton (Nathan Cummings Foundation), and Roberta Uno (Ford Foundation) presented a session on addressing the significant disparity in how funding reaches underserved communities and smaller arts organizations. Per its design, the intended session outcome was to develop a list of key strategies to address inequitable funding in collaboration with the audience members.

GuideStar Will Collect Diversity Data “At Scale” with Nonprofit Sector

From Ruth McCambridge, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

GuideStar has announced a new initiative to monitor the diversity of the nonprofit sector. It plans to work with the D5 Coalition and a range of other partners to collect diversity data about staff, board, and volunteer demographics in nonprofits and philanthropy. Saying that past sporadic attempts to collect such information were inadequate, Kelly Brown, Director of the D5 coalition, said that the end game of the project is diversity in the sector that is reflective of current demographics, but also inclusion and equity.
Sarah Lutman: Ideas for #GIA2015

GIA Conference blogger Sarah Lutman provides some ideas for the Los Angeles Conference in 2015:

Compared to GIA’s early years, last week’s conference was more diverse demographically, and courageous in the difficulty of topics brought forward for discussion. The through-line of conversations about race, for example, was substantive and it is vital, challenging work to embrace. The question of whether grantmaking can do more harm than good also was raised. Bravo to GIA for broadening the discussion, involving more people, and creating urgency around deeds, not words, in addressing the field’s most deeply-rooted problems.
GIA Wrap Up, Thoughts on the Equity Social / Racial Issue

Conference blogger Barry Hessenius turns in a final post to the GIA 2014 Conference blog:

The 2014 GIA Conference was, I think, very successful. This gathering remains small enough to be intimate, but large enough so that the conversations are expansive. As the funding community continues to grapple with some very large challenges, as a body it is making steady progress on working together to, if not collaborate on every approach, at least coordinate some of what use to be very disparate and wide ranging approaches. Perhaps the word that ought to be included in the vocabulary above is the word SHARING.
Lutman: Storytelling Is a Muscle

The latest post from Sarah Lutman on the GIA 2014 Conference blog:

The staff of the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation offered a terrific session on Transmedia Narrative on Tuesday. Presenters were Eric Schoenborn, Creative Director at Knight, and Nicole Chipi, Arts Program Associate. In the three main parts of their presentation, they showed examples of narratives they consider well told; described their internal creative processes for telling Knight’s own stories and how they choose which media to use; and offered advice to other grantmakers for ways to work with grantees to tell their stories effectively and to get their stories out to more people.
The Unique Practice of Arts Grantmaking: a GIA Preconference

Barry Hessenius covers the GIA preconference, held on Sunday, October 12 in Houston:

This all day session was intended for newer program officers, trustees and foundation executives — but the reality was that the attendees were split between newbies and those who are recognizable names in the philanthropic community with long resumes. The combination of the two made the questions throughout the session very interesting and relevant.
First, do no harm? Sarah Lutman on Capitalization Session from Houston

The latest post from Sarah Lutman on the GIA 2014 Conference blog is her report from the session Getting Beyond Breakeven 2.0:

Susan Nelson of TDC gave us a healthy dose of her thought leadership in her GIA session with Olive Mosier of the William Penn Foundation. She presented — for the first time — the findings of a new report on Philadelphia cultural institutions that comes five years after the breakthrough study, Getting Beyond Breakeven: A Review of Capitalization Needs and Challenges of Philadelphia’s Arts and Culture Organizations.
Artists Rejoice! Tax Court Concludes Painter's Activity Isn't A 'Hobby'

From Tony Nitti, writing for Forbes:

It has to suck to make your living as an artist. For starters, you have to be able to sculpt, draw, or paint things that, you know… look like things. But even if you can, you know damn well that when you tell someone at a dinner party that you’re an “artist,” they’ll smugly assume that’s just a pleasant euphemism for “unemployed trust fund baby.” And on the off chance that all your creativity and hard work pays off and you have a piece prominently displayed in a gallery or museum, you’ll have to repeatedly deal with a boorish lout like me eyeing up your magnum opus and dismissively professing, “I don’t get it.”